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Section 136 – Removal of mentally disordered persons without a warrant

Why am I on Section 136?

Section 136 allows you to be taken to a place of safety, if a police officer is concerned that you may have a mental disorder and should be seen by a mental health professional. The police officer must think that you may be in need of immediate care and that it is necessary in your interest or for the protection of others for you to be taken to a place of safety to be assessed.

A police officer put you on the section.

How long does it last and what happens next?

You can be kept in hospital (or in another place where you will be safe) for up to 24 hours (extendable for up to 12 hours if you could not be assessed for clinical reasons) so that you can be seen by a doctor and an approved mental health professional.

An approved mental health professional is someone who has been specially trained to help decide whether people need to be admitted to hospital.

During this time you must not leave unless you are told that you may. If you try to go, the staff can stop you, and if you leave you can be brought back.

If the mental health professionals have not seen you by the end of the 24 hours (or 36 hours, if your detention was extended), you will be free to leave. You may decide to stay as a voluntary patient. But if you do want to leave you must speak to a member of staff first. If the doctor and the approved mental health professional agree that you need to be admitted to hospital under a Section 2 or Section 3, a second doctor will be asked to see you to confirm their decision.

If they decide that you do not need to be admitted, someone will talk to you about what other help is available to you.

If the assessment has been completed, and the doctor and the approved mental health professional say that you do not need to stay in hospital you will be free to leave, even if the 24 hours (or 36 hours if detention was extended) have not ended.

Will I be given treatment?

The hospital staff will tell you about any medication they think you need. You have the right to refuse any medication you do not want.

Can I get leave?

No. You cannot be given leave while you are on a Section 136. It is a short term section for assessment.

Can I appeal?

You have no rights of appeal to the Mental Health Tribunal or the Hospital Managers’ against Section 136.

What are my rights?

You have certain rights when you are in hospital. These include the right to:

  • Information about your section and the reasons for detention
  • Information about consent to treatment
  • Information on how to make a complaint
  • Information about safeguarding
  • Information about the Care Quality Commission

The Mental Health Act 1983 Code of Practice

The MHA Code of Practice should be followed by professionals who are involved in your care and treatment. The Code of Practice provides guidance to health professionals about the MHA and is also intended to be helpful to you, your family, carers, representatives, friends, advocate and anyone else who supports you. A copy of the code should be available on the ward for you to see.